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China orders churches to replace Ten Commandments with presidential quotes


20 September 2019

Churches in China’s central province of Henan have been forced by the authorities to take down the Ten Commandments and replace them with quotes of President Xi Jinping, according to a Bitter Winter report.

Every state-registered “three-self” church and meeting venue in one county of Luoyang, a prefecture-level city, received an order to remove the ten Biblical commandments from display as part of the authorities’ on-going campaign to “sinicise” (make Chinese) Christianity.

Some churches that refused to obey have been shut down and other congregations have been told their members will be “blacklisted”, meaning the travel, education and employment options of Christians will be restricted by the authorities.

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The Ten Commandments, God’s moral law given to Moses (Exodus 34:28), are fundamental to the beliefs of Judaism and Christianity 

A pastor from a state-registered church told Bitter Winter that the replacement of the Ten Commandments with excerpts from Xi Jinping’s speeches was the latest in a series of moves against churches, which have included the enforced replacement of crosses with the national flag, and the installation of surveillance cameras to monitor congregations and religious activities.

In November 2018, the authorities ordered a registered church in Dongcun village, Henan province to erase the First Commandment, “You shall have no other gods before me”, from the Ten Commandments on display in front of the pulpit, saying it was “national policy”. In another incident the words Bible, God and Christ were removed from Robinson Crusoe and other classic novels that feature in a new Chinese school textbook.